Capnography is the measurement of CO2 in the air that is breathed out. The CO2 levels are measured by a machine and the levels are recorded on a computer screen. Any breathing pattern alterations that are required to help you breathe more effectively can be done while the computer screen is visualized. Breathing exercises to practice at home or during work/riding are also reviewed at this time.
Even riders with a healthy heart and lungs are prone to ‘overbreathing’. This has also been termed ‘hyperventilation’. Overbreathing occurs when a person breathes too quickly, too deeply and/or with a poor pattern. Most people are not aware of the problem until their breathing is assessed.
- Over-training in sport
- Core muscle weakness causing ‘bracing’
When too much CO2 is exhaled during over-breathing the blood pH changes which leads to muscle constriction and decreased oxygenation of the brain and muscles.
- Unusual muscle fatigue or stiffness
- Headaches, migraines
- Poor concentration/memory
- Panic attacks or chest pain
- Stomach cramps, irritable bowel
- Frequent sighing
Any of these symptoms may be resolved with breathing pattern retraining.